New higher education staff members may get smaller housing allowances to take account of the property market plunge. But the review would not affect those already receiving allowances, Deputy Secretary for the Treasury Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor told legislators at the finance committee meeting yesterday. James Tien Pei-chun of the Liberal Party said he was concerned that fluctuating property prices in the past year could affect the mortgage plans of those receiving allowances. But Mrs Lam said the allowances would last for 120 months once they had been approved. She said allowances had only increased by 16 per cent since their inception in 1994. The property market rose dramatically in that period. The Government requested $223 million this financial year for the scheme.